(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

THE S£ATHURj£ OBSSEVATOKY.                                       141

in 1743. His voluminous correspondence is said by Tod* still to «xist and
his acts to be recorded in a miscellaneous diary entitled Kalpadrama and a
collection of anecdotes called the Eksau n&n gun Jay Sink M.

The whole of the Mathnr4 observatory lias now disappeared* A little be-
fore the mutiny the buildings were sold to the great Government contractor,
Joti Prasad, who destroyed ihem for the sake of the materials. Certainly, they
had ceased to be of any practical use ; but they were of interest, both in the
history of science and as a memorial of one of the most remarkable men in
the long line of Indian sovereigns and their inconsiderate demolition is a
matter for regret. The old hall of audience, which is outside, the actnal Forty
is a handsome and substantial building divided into three aisles by ranges of
red sand-stone pillars. Soon after the mutiny it was converted into a school
and, in order to render it as nnsightly as such Government buildings ordinarily
are, the front arches were all blocked np with a mud wall which concealed
erery trace of them. Quite by an accident I discovered their existence and, after
opening them out again, filed ia their heads with iron bars set in a wooden
frame and the lower part with a slight masonry wall, thus preserving all the
architectural effect without any sacrifice of convenience.

About the centre of the river front is the most sacred of all the ghats,
marking the spot where Krishna sat down to take J rest ' after he had slain
the tyrant Kansa and hence called the i Visrant* Ghat. The small open court
has a series of marble arches facing the water5 which distinguishes it from all the
other landing-places ; and on the other three sides are various buildings erected
at intervals during the last century and-a-half by several princely families ;
but none of them possesses any architectural beauty. The river here swarms ^
with turtles of an enormous size, which are considered in a way sacred, and
generally receive a handful or two of grain from every visitor. Close by is s
natural water-course^ said to have been caused by the passage of Kansa's
giant body, as it was dragged down to ike river to be burnt> and hence called
the i Kans EMr.' The following lines ia the Vishnu Parana are alleged in
support of the tradition ; —

l
fjfff                                                     II
" By the trailing body of Kansa, with its prodigious weight^ a channel waa
made as by the rush of a mighty stream, **
* Yiom whom all the facts in the above nmrratiTe of Ja^ Sinh't lie are
$6